Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Khrystyna Bednarchyk

Committee Member

Lana Collet-Klingenberg


evidence based, six-week, middle school students, ASD


The purpose of this applied dissertation was to study the effectiveness of a Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII) program called the Power of Peer Support (POPS) focused on a student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and same-grade peers at the middle school level. Students with ASD often experience challenges with socialization. Such concerns may be magnified during adolescence when social identification is forming. Educators are often in search of evidence-based practices that can be implemented efficiently and with fidelity. This six-week study was conducted to add to the literature of practices to consider at the middle school level for students with ASD.

Single-subject research using A-B-A design was utilized for this study. The participants included one student with ASD and five peers who were identified by their teachers with character traits of being kind, caring and compassionate. Initiations of communication by the student with ASD toward peers, by peers toward the student with ASD, by the student with ASD toward adults, and by adults toward the student with ASD were all observed before, during, and after intervention.

Visual analysis of data along with descriptive statistics revealed a significant increase in the initiation of conversation by peers toward the student with ASD after receiving POPS training. Additionally, a steady decrease in initiations by adults toward the student with ASD was observed. The trained facilitator who implemented the POPS program completed a social validity survey upon completion of the intervention and validated the POPS program as an acceptable practice to consider for students with ASD at the middle school level.

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